I’m taking you all the way back to my OG podcast episode about the basics of cytology.

Cytology was the topic of my first podcast episode for the same reason I still talk about cytology regularly now (and will forever):

Because it’s the backbone of dermatology!

Cytology is the minimal diagnostic we should be doing in most of our cases. A large percentage of the things I talk about in dermatology all come back to cytology in some way, which is why most of my lectures will have cytology tucked within somewhere. It is almost ALWAYS relevant! As a specialist, I often see cases referred to me, and when I dive into the patient’s history, I notice that cytology has been missed.

My ultimate goal for The Derm Vet Podcast and for the content I put out there on a regular basis is to bring you dermatology tips and confidence that can be applied to daily clinical practice. The more confident you feel in doing cytology, the better the care you can bring to your patients and clients.

But, let’s go back to the #1 basic: Why should we even do cytology? Here are FIVE reasons!

  • It’s inexpensive. As far as most diagnostic tests that can be run, cytology is affordable. It’s less expensive than a culture, and a culture is not always necessary!
  • It tells us SO much information! Bacteria? Yeast? Inflammatory cells? Is there an infection? Has the infection improved upon recheck? These are just some of the things cytology can tell us. There are so many more!
  • You can do it right in front of the owner. Clients can feel frustrated when navigating dermatologic issues with their pets. It can be a relief for some owners to watch a diagnostic test done right in front of them that will give instant results.
  • It can help us to avoid unnecessary antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is something we need to be fighting on the front lines. If we can avoid rounds of antibiotics because they are not addressing the root of the problem, we should do it.
  • Practice! If cytology is a realistic option, it’s a good opportunity for practice! If you don’t feel confident in your skills, ask another veterinarian or a well-trained technician for help until you get the hang of it and feel better about utilizing this tool more often.

    When I say #cytologyeverything, I really mean it! Check out the episode of The Derm Vet Podcast that started it all to hear tips for collecting cytology, and information about what to look for!

    I also have a RACE approved CE course that will teach you all about cytology! You can purchase it individually, OR access it in my online community, The Derm Nerds!